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Sprint, Staples, Kimberly-Clark Test Wheat Straw Waste in Paper and Tissue

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A recent report by the GreenBiz Group, Oakland, Calif., USA, on their GreenBiz.com® website details how wheat straw is commonly used in blends to make paper in countries such as China and India. However, the North American market for years has remained skeptical of this type of substitute. That is now beginning to change as multiple businesses including large corporations that use paper for billing and customer communication purposes (Sprint), and retail sales (Staples) have created a path for larger scale production of higher quality straw waste blended paper for the North American region. 

Environmental assessments have demonstrated that wheat straw requires 65% less land to create one ton of paper than virgin paper sourced from conventional managed tree farms. In addition, according to the GreenBiz report, there is the potential to turn what is commonly considered a source of farm waste into a valuable new revenue source for local communities and paper companies.

Kimberly-Clark, Irving, Tex., USA, is now using wheat straw, along with bamboo, for a series of products that use 20% plant fiber instead of tree fiber or recycled paper. The items produced with the blend include tissue paper and paper towels. The company is sourcing what would otherwise be wasted fiber directly from farmers for their new GreenHarvest line.

"By creating a new, beneficial use for wheat straw, Kimberly-Clark Professional is providing an economic boost for farmers, adding value to our state’s largest crop, and helping us reduce agricultural waste," said Aaron Harries, VP of research and operations for the Kansas Wheat Commission.


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